“Everything from the ads we read to the political news in our Facebook feed is tailored to our preferences. That’s incredibly useful for buying shoes and finding good restaurants. It is easier than ever to get and share information, but the information we get often reflects ourselves as much as it does anything else. Less noticed is that this has an effect not only on how we regard others, but on how we regard ourselves.” Michael Patrick Lynch suggests we take greater care to balance humility and conviction.
“And so, paradoxically, after everything you have read above, with the outrage fresh in your mind, on the day when it feels harder than any other, I hope you will join me in saying: Bravo, Roche. Now let’s do better.” Ben Goldacre highlights the deficiencies of a regulatory system which governs the approval of pharmaceutical drugs.
“For fear they might only get one term they are dashing to secure that indelible legacy. The plan is to outsource so much that reconstructing public services will be impossible in future.” Polly Toynbee reports on an epidemic of evidence-free, faith-based policymaking that is creating moral hazard on a grand scale.
“A moral hazard is a situation where there is a tendency to take undue risks because the costs are not borne by the party taking the risk.”
“‘We went through the paper line by line, figure by figure,’ said Begley. ‘I explained that we re-did their experiment 50 times and never got their result. He said they’d done it six times and got this result once, but put it in the paper because it made the best story. It’s very disillusioning.’” Sharon Begley talks to former head of global cancer research at Amgen, Glenn Begley.
“There’s been a lot of academic research suggesting that men think they know what they’re doing, even when they really don’t know what they’re doing.” Tim Adams reports on why a sufficiently high percentage of women in decision-making positions might have prevented the 2008 financial crash.
“Evidence indicates that when it comes to Wall Street, the justice system not only sucks at punishing financial criminals, it has actually evolved into a highly effective mechanism for protecting financial criminals.” Financial crisis ongoing, Matt Taibbi’s article should be of interest to anyone.
“Tom Dolphin, a member of the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee, backed the motion. He said he had previously described homeopathy as witchcraft, but now wanted to apologise to witches for making that link.” The British Medical Association calls for an effective end to the funding of homeopathic remedies by the NHS.